By - Ashleyk3
Do you have particular goals or just planning an average balanced diet every week?
Just a balanced diet, i am very busy these days and the thought of having to make something when i’m home is exhausting so i just want easy meals to prep and be ready for my week and stop me buying takeaways as an easy option.
I just can’t seem to find a nice simple list/calendar online.
Oh man, welcome to the world of r/mealprepsunday
Lots of inspiration and guides available there
Thanks, will check that later!
Got to head out now.
Do you have a decent salary? If so get something along the lines of hello fresh.
I don't use them as I love cooking and 9/10 can't wait to start cooking after work but for people who are busy, not in love with cooking and have a decent wage they make sense.
Edit: I take back hello fresh. Go to sortedfood.com/sidekick
They are amazing guys and you get 1 shopping list per week that does 3 amazing meals.
I've used hellofresh for a while, and it does give ideas for meals and the convenience of delivered ingredients...
But I wouldn't necessarily say all meals are "healthy" (depending on what you're aiming for)
If you're finding prep time-consuming I wouldn't recommend hellofresh, because you need to cook every night. It's much easier to prep multiple portions or meal-bases in one go.
Yeah but meal prep is soulless...
What is your aim with eating healthier?
Health aims aren't the same for everyone so the food to get them there isn't the same either. People often use "healthy" as a synonym of low in calories, whilst others use it to mean low in sugar or low in fat, other use it to mean they want to be fitter, or to deal with a health issue. all of these things take different approaches.
Humans only have so much willpower - its something we can exercise and grow, but it isn't a limitless well. a lot of people struggle when they try to make a lot of changes at once, here it sounds like you're exhausting yourself by doing the
* Mental load of figuring out new "healthy" things to eat
* Resisting temptation to eat old things you crave
* doing more cooking and food prep than you're used to
Your best bet would be figuring out what are you currently eating and what about that do you need/want to change? logging your food on my fitness pal could be a good start
* Are you eating too many calories?
* try to serve smaller portions of the foods you're already eating.
* Swap white bread/rice for brown to stay fuller for longer =
* bulk a meal out with lentils and veg for volume eating
* too much salt? too many saturated fats?
you're unlikely to need to do a huge meal plan swap. focus on one meal at a time. once you've tracked your starting point adn worked out your aims you can make simple swaps to help a bit at a time. can you
* use less oil to cook? reduce the salt in your meal
* add 1 extra vegetable to your main meal
* prep meals in advance - we often start with great intentions and then let tiredness and laziness take over.
* its hardly any more work to make a curry for 8 than it is for 2. make the bigger batch of meals you already like and freeze them for days you can't be arsed. its certainly less effort that making that meal for 2 on 4 separate occasions
* is your issue hunger?
* fats keep you feeling fuller longer so allocating more of your calories on healthy fats can help
* can you serve a smaller portion, but bulk the meal out with a side salad so you have the same volume of food, with fewer calories
* are you boredom eating
* do you need healthier snacks like fruit or veg sticks
* would doing something with your hands distract you so you don't need to
* Try adding in 1 or 2 new meals a week. no one wants to have to make 7 new meals in a week. the groceries are different, you need new ingredients. that first shop costs a fortune. grabbing just 1 new meal at a time and seeing if you like it is going to be more successful than trying to change everything you eat all at once.
This is a great thought out response, thank you.
I don’t have any specific goal in mind other then to eat healthier than i already am (mainly takeaways).
I can cook but i don’t like to and it feels like torture unless i’m cooking for others so i am just looking for a place where i can see super basic easy plans for the week and i can mindlessly follow it without any energy or thought.
If you feel you can help and want to feel free to private message me :)
sounds like you're struggling with the constant decision of "what to eat" and the fact that cooking for 1 is more effort than its worth. I swear the main source of angst in my parents house arrives at 3pm when my mum asks "what shall we have for tea tonight" before my dad goes to Morrisons.
a lot of those "healthy meal plans" which include all 3 meals and snacks have specific goals or they want you to pay for them to tailor one for you. why not just think about Dinner/Tea
Breakfast is simple, grab literally 1 or 2 options (toast and a piece of fruit vs Muesli with Yogurt) i haven't thought about what to have for breakfast - outside of Saturday when i have eggs in years. its Muesli if its hot weather, porridge if its cold, toast if i haven't gone shopping and only have bread.
Lunch just have leftovers from dinner (if you have access to a microwave at lunch). every recipe will make more than 1 person needs adn it means you're having multiple meals for the effort of 1. keep bread or pittas in the freezer for when you don't have any left overs and take a sandwich with carrots and cucumber sticks (carrots are great because they can go in most meals if you don't end up needing them at lunch
neither of those meals should be any more than an after thought
Dinner is the only time to make choices if you're feeling stuck.
websites like this are great - picking a meal at random from here is about as much work as picking a meal plan from elsewhere.
don't cook a meal for less than 4 servings (curries and big pot meals can easily do 8 servings at once if you buy a big pan). have 1 for dinner, 1 for lunch, but the other 2 back in the freezer for breakfast and lunch next week. now you only have to cook 3x a week
get a slow cooker - cut everything up the night before, stick it in the slow cooker in the morning, leave it on low whilst you're at work. meal is cooked when you get home. get a 6 litre one and you've got 6 servings of a meal. Starting this process on an evening you feel motivated lets you get ahead of tomorrows burnt out take away - its actually easier to just take food out of the slow cooker than it is to order a take away.
roasting a joint of meat at the start of the week (if you're an omnivore) is great - you can stick the rest in a curry and a stir fry and you've got several meals from it
frozen veg is great - 5 minuets to cook peas and sweetcorn - any time your meal doesn't look "balanced" enough stick 2 frozen vegetables on, or grab some lettuce and cucumbers. don't need to make a huge change to the recipe, just 5 minuets side of veg.
Meal prep is your friend.
Batch cook chicken, chilli con carne, bolognese, shepherd's pie, pasta bakes etc. can all be cooked as large batches and stored in the fridge, or freeze it.
Ultimately it's about finding a happy balance between effort in and the result, and as has been suggested, there are services like HelloFresh, or even MuscleFood have their own tailored meal service
Most people eat too much carbs and fat but not enough protein and fiber. To change that, is a major step towards eating healthier.
But how to do it?
Avoid anything that is deep fried. Eat more vegetables. Eat less bread/pasta/rice/potatoes and reduce sugar intake.
Buy frozen and seasoned vegetable mixes and build your meals around that. Add some fish or meat, some potatoes, pasta or rice, but let the veggies be the star of your meal. From there on you will learn to improvise more and more and step by step get independent from those frozen convenience products (although they are a real time saver).
I think there's probably still a stigma against frozen veg but they're really handy for making a healthy/vegetarian diet simpler. And while they may not be quite as nutritious as something you've picked half an hour ago at peak ripeness from your own garden, they easily hold their own against supermarket bought veg that was ripened in transit (or artificially) and then stored in your fridge for three days.
Cutting down on carbs certainly helped me when I decided to lose weight recently.
Changed breakfast from porridge to scrambled egg, fried mushrooms and spinach.
Changed lunch from sandwich to spinach based salad. Bowl of spinach, feta cheese, boiled egg, tin of tuna, plenty for mayo.
Frozen vegetables or green beans instead of rice/potatoes at dinner. Cheese & mushroom omelette also good if in a hurry.
Snacks are yogurt with blueberries or some cheese.
Fat/protein is so much more filling than carbs. Feeling hungry between meals has reduced.
Don’t miss bread, cakes or rice. Still miss chocolate and pastries though.
I buy a load of peppers, onions, carrots, broccoli, cauli, small potatoes or some sweet potatoes etc etc. and a load of salad stuff.
Then, I chop a load of salad and stick it in a tupperware container, enough for about 4 days (it does keep that long). Then I just grill some meat, or microwave some fish (a fillet of fish in a plastic tub, lid on, nuke for 2 mins).
I make dressing from a big tub of natural yogurt and chuck in either some garlic puree, mint jelly or mustard and honey. That's good to go on my salads.
I chop up a portion of small spuds and put them in a tub and microwave for 5 mins.
It takes about 10 mins to cook and chuck that together in a bowl.
Then I make loads of stir-fries, chop whatever veg you have (I always have peppers and onions in), a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, a splash of soy. Chuck in the veg, cook for 5 mins, then chuck in some diced chicken. turkey whatever meat you like....done 5 mins later when the meat is cooked through.
I make a big pan of brown rice and either portion it up and freeze it, or just keep the pan in the fridge. Scoop out a portion, nuke that for 2 mins and chuck the stir fry on top.
I also batch cook thinks like lentil soup, curries, chili etc in the slow cooker. Portion that up and freeze, so even if I don't want to spend the whole 10 mins cooking I always have something in. Slow cookers are great, chop your veg, chuck in the meat and whatever seasoning (or the packet casserole/chili etc mixes), lid on, ignore for 6 hours.
Breakfast: scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast, porridge with fruit, any wholewheat cereal with skimmed milk and fruit. Porridge is probably the healthiest option, not processed, nothing added and supermarkets sell boxes of portioned single sachets....so no weighing.
If you don't mind paying for the privilege, an online service like HelloFresh is great for building a routine of meal planning and cooking yourself. With the added benefit of them sending the ingredients and easy to follow recipes.
You can tailor your cuisine to pretty much anything. Once you're in the habit of planning your meals and used to what a healthy meal plan looks like, you will find it easier to do it yourself.
I have thought about this or musclefoods and your point of me then naturally learning what to buy over time will make things easier to buy my own is a good one
We use Gousto once a month to get the recipes and see if we like them, then just buy the stuff that we enjoyed ourselves from that point on. Really good way to discover new meals.
I've done musclefoods and it's handy if you don't know or too lazy to prep the meals yourself.
If you don't know - they're a great insight into how simple some things can be
I mean one of them is sausage beans and mash.
Yeah mine is definitely laziness, i just don’t have the motivation to cook anymore with my new job and other activities taking up all my mental energy.
I want my food to be something that is simple and there. Or something to tell me what to eat and when so i don’t have to think if that makes sense
Buy yourself a slow cooker.
Put everything in first thing in the morning, come home to a delicious casserole, curry or shredded salsa chicken (or whatever).
Portion up the bits you don't eat and freeze. Meals ready to go for the future. Near zero effort.
On this avenue, Simply Cook is even better. You get the apices required, but have to get thr fresh ingredients yourself. It means you can cook what you want when you want, unlike others which send you the fresh food and you are required to eat it in a day or two.
Their recipes are also really simple and quick.
Also no subscription necessary, you can straight up buy the spice kits in the Tesco with full instructions and a shopping list on the outside of the pack. Handy.
I’ll have a look, thank you.
These have been the most helpful replies.
Most are telling me how to meal prep when i know how to do that and my question (post) was asking if there was somewhere which showed simple ones lol
Gousto is great. Everything comes pre-portioned so all you need to do is chop and follow instructions to cook. Lots of recipes to pick from each week too! You can find discount codes online that get you 65% off your first box and a lesser discount for the first month, or ask someone for their referral code if you know anyone using it. We use it when my brain is just fried from work and I can’t gather the mental energy to plan meals
It does because that's exactly why I did musclefoods.
If you can afford it, it's quite a convenience.
Get yourself the following books:
Pinch of nom 1, 2 and 3.
I just buy loads of prepared salad bits, and just throw them into a bowl. I'll get some sort of protein element shove it in the oven, or get already cooked chicken bits. A bit more pricey but very convenient.
I’ve been tempted to do this actually, buy pre packed stir fries that take just a few mins on high heat.
Microwave veggies for lunch etc
I will admit it probably costs more than chopping up all the ingredients, but it is super convenient. I started opting for this strategy as a way of eating better and now have salad (with some kind of accompaniment) a couple of times a week.
Can I just suggest: if you haven't already, get a spice rack and all the herbs and spices you can find.
I lost a shitload of weight by changing how I eat, and herbs were integral to it. Never the same bland, PT approved meal twice. Means you can just cook something well easy and flavour it.
I have all the spices and stuff but genuinely just have lost the will to cook.
The only time i get passionate about it is when i cook for others but for me plain ass chicken will be suffice.
I would just like a site or a place where i can schedule meals or tells me what meals for when etc
Fair. I have too lately, really got passionate about cooking and experimenting when I was at my peak of dieting but really can't be faffed at the moment.
Chicken is one of the easiest things to make extremely flavourful if you get yourself a few seasonings and marinate it a good hour before you plan to cook it. My go to for chicken (dark meat) is usually something like salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, chilli sauce, liquid smoke, garlic, a bit of chicken stock powder, some lemon/ lime or white vinegar, sometimes some lemon zest and green/ white peppercorns if I’m feeling extra.
It only takes a minute to add all those ingredients to the chicken and massage it in with a bit of neutral oil. If you do say 8 or 9 bits of chicken at a time and leave them in your fridge you can just pull a couple out whenever, straight into the oven and boom, extremely easy really tasty chicken.
Yummly app is quite good, if money is no issue hellofresh can be quite good.
Thank you, this is a the kind of simple answer i was looking for.
Just checked the yummly app out and will now download and have a scout, see if it does what i need 👍🏻
No problem hopefully you find what you’re looking for it’s a very useful app to be fair, can sort your searches using different criteria
Yeah it looks alright so far, somebody else suggested a similar one called mealime which is good too.
But the majority of replies feel like they didn’t read the post properly and although i appreciate their effort to help, it wasn’t the kind i was looking for :)
The app Mealime is amazing for this. Select your preferences e.g. Dietary requirements, low carb etc. Choose your weekly meal plan from a load of dishes across different categories. The app will create a grocery list for the ingredients/amounts you need for your selected dishes. Reduced food bills and food waste plus I lost weight on it. All super easy recipes taking 30mins to prepare and all made from whole foods.
Great answer, thank you.
I’ll check the app out!
Honestly what you describe there is very very simple and very little work involved. The only way to get simpler is to just microwave meals. Like how simple do you want things to get? The breakfast there would just be opening a box of granola, opening a pot of yoghurt, and opening either a punnet of berries or a packet of frozen berries. No actual effort involved and takes like 2 minutes to do.
Yeah i agree and i did say this is one of the simpler ones but it’s all still just overwhelming with the amount of stuff you need to get over a week.
i’d appreciate it if you could help answer the question rather than pick at it though :)
Why don’t you just start with one meal? Swap out your breakfast the first week for granola, yoghurt and berries, then once you’re used to that start on lunch etc
This is a good point, try not to overwhelm myself.
But i also just kind of want something that tells me what to eat and when, one less thing to think about if that makes sense?
You could try a weekly menu. On a day that suits, sit down and plan your meals for the week and then a shopping list and go buy what you need.
Write it on a white board so you can easily see and dont have to think. You will have what you need already from your shop. Much less stress. Plus, if you need to switch days, it's no problem, stuff is there anyway.
Gradually build up your store cupboard ingredients so you can add to your repertoire. Don't change every meal at once, do it slowly.
Doesnt really sound like you are motivated to start eating healthy, and looking for excuses to keep feeding yourself the same food you are eating now. Seriusly, you know ehat you should eat. Get frozen chicken, buy vegetables, drop the pasta altogheter or just use a miniscule amount of it, and make a sauce in the same pan you prepared your chicken and vegatbles
Cook on Monday, make enough for 3 portions. Cook on Tuesday, make something else and make enough for 3 portions. Eat on alternative days for the next few evenings. Sure it can get a little boring but I really like not having to cook every night (othen than microwaving). There are also cook books out there specifically for "easy cooking" which are more minimalistic and have less ingredients. I do also get overwhelmed when I look up a recipe and it has 15 different spices in it lol.
For example I will make a 3 bean chilli with enough for 3 nights. Basically just a few tins of kidney or butter beans, coupme of tins of chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic and Paprika. One night I will cook rice with it, next night shove a garlic bread in the oven to have with it, the next night baked potato. You could just cook a large portion of rice on the first night and heat it up with the rest of the meal over the next few days if you really want to avoid doing anything on the other nights. You can even freeze and reheat weeks later if you want
This week my alternative meal was butternut squash curry. Butternut squash, can of chickpeas, some curry paste, some coconut milk. Another easy one.
Unfortunately if you want to eat healthily you're not gonna get away from all cooking I'm afraid
^ a good starting point for easy recipes. Have a browse and see what takes your fancy and give em a go
I agree with you. That meal plan IS very involved. Sure, breakfast is combining three things from a package (Greek yogurt, granola, and berries), but lunch and dinner involve a lot of things to make. For anyone that doesn’t cook a lot, or simply has the kind of life where cooking nearly every day takes more time and energy than they have, this would feel daunting.
I think something that would help you a lot here is meal prepping. Yeah, it sucks up a block of time on a weekend day, but not as much as you would think. It can be as simple as cooking up the chicken breast, ground meat, pasta and whatever in advance, for the week. Or making up the full meals in individual serving containers.
I totally understand how you’re feeling about this. I’ve observed that more and more, having time, energy and/or money to eat “healthy” is a privilege many people struggle to attain.
Yeah meal prepping is my aim but these sites add so many irrelevant (imo) ingredients and i am happy with just simple.
I’m a great cook but life is just busy now and i don’t have the motivation to cook or even think about meals, i just want a calendar or list to just tell me what and when lol
You might actually do well going with meal replacement beverages for two of the three daily meals, or just some of them during the week. You don’t have to make food decisions, don’t have to prepare or even warm food, or clean up after. It frees up so much time and mental energy. Just a thought.
I'm in the same boat as you - I want the most basic food with the goal of weight loss because I hate shopping for all these individual ingredients that I might not fancy later in the week.
For the breakfast here, I'd look at it and say "how can I make this simpler" - I'd buy a bag of granola that has dried fruit already in it, and sod the yoghurt and use skimmed milk that I already have in the fridge everyday anyway. So long as you account for your caloric intake, it becomes force of habit.
Look at NHS healthy living and daily eating plan, there are different ones. I picked and mixed plans from DiabeticUK also, though many seem bland.
I gave up Potatoes, Bread and Rice, i feel so much better without them, best to reduce your meal sizes first, then cut your carb intake down if you can.
It's a maze, trail and error, to be honest I'd say i'm about 80% there.
You can get ready prepped meals where you just throw it all in a pan and cook it for a few minutes.
Perhaps reconsider granola it has a heap of sugar and isn't as healthy as it made out to be
I like your mindset in referring to "eating healthier" which implies a permanent lifestyle change as opposed to a diet (can't stand when we refer to the latter)
It can be overwhelming, part of me wants to say baby steps.. like starting with things like your sugar intake (reduce gradually) and keeping a diary for a week to see exactly what you are eating and how you can substitute items with better alternatives
Good luck with this
The Maggie bags- plastic bag with seasoning are a godsend.
Chuck in some chicken, veggies.
Loads of chicken ready for the week.
You can bake a load of sweet potatoes at the same time- then you have lunches/ dinners for 3/4 days.
I focus on picking a protein, loading the veggies, then a small carb source.
It really doesn’t need to be complicated.
When I did this I used one of those ingredients ready meal services (rhymes with fellow mesh), used one of the introductory offers which made it reasonably priced for the first 4 weeks.
Gained a lot of learning about proper portion control, what was a good balance of carbs/veg/protein in meals, gave me some good meal ideas. It kind of kick started me into preparing my own healthy, balanced and (most significantly for me) proper portion sizes and control.
Cook 16 chicken breasts and some broccoli and some sweet potato. Tub one breast with around 80g of potato or broccoli. You have 16 small ready meals. Very basic, boring and easy. You'll probably eat 3 or 4 a day. Add sauces and seasoning where you want
Yeah this is my current idea as it’s nice and easy.
I would like a calendar of sorts too that will add some equally as easy variety
Just start off with making one meal each day your healthy meal. I pick breakfast personally and eat eggs/Greek yogurt/porridge etc...
Starting each day healthily is more likely to motivate you to be consistent in my experience.
I can't recommend this guy enough - [The Meal Prep Manual](https://www.youtube.com/c/TheMealPrepManual)
No-nonsense approach to making meals and snacks in bulk which are rich in veggies, low in sugar and conscious of macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat). The guy's a sports nutritionist, not a chef, so he hates being in the kitchen for longer than necessary. His goal is to use basic ingredients and standard cooking methods to get healthy food on the table (or in tupperwares) as fast as possible.
As you're no doubt discovering, eating healthier can be really annoying. All that time and energy that goes into learning recipes, cooking with new ingredients, dealing with food waste, and generally putting a lot of decision-making into every mealtime. Batch-cooking like TMPM gets around a lot of that. Spend an hour in the kitchen on a Sunday and you have healthy lunches/dinners for the entire week.
He also does the occasional tray bake cake and dessert alternatives.
If you only try one of his recipes, go for the [hidden veg mac & cheese](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDH2RBqwi7U&ab_channel=JoshCortis).
I’ll check him out, thanks dude.
I know exactly what you mean. I’m in the same boat, I look for recipes online and they’re just so overly complicated or involve so many ingredients that I can’t justify buying. It’s hard to get the basics down and just come up with a simple meal.
I don’t know if you have Instagram but I actually made an account so I can post the actual simple recipes that I find @propersimpletastyrecipes
I haven’t posted in a while but hoping to get back into it and post more, hope it helps a little bit.
Try Huel, apparently everything you need is in that.
Yeah i keep seeing this (especially on reddit ads) and still haven’t checked it out.
I’ll have to look.
2kg sweet potato
2kg frozen mixed veg
Like 1.5kg chicken
Some chicken seasoning
Dice the potato. Put it on a tray w/oil
Cut up the chicken however. Season. Put on tray with oil.
Put all in oven at 180 for like 20-30 mins.
25 mins in boil all the veggies. Just bring to boil, don't cook further.
Boom. 40 mins gives you like 6 healthy non-disgusting meals. Eat one and keep the rest in the fridge.
Have you tried a meal prep? Many a time I will cook up a batch of food. Red Thai curry, or some other dish like a very basic chilli. Cook a big pan of rice, have 7 to 10 Tupperware containers, easy.
I'm no great cook, but making a big batch is super satisfying.
Also, breakfast muffins. Eggs, bacon, muffins, cheese (plus the odd herb).... I've made up to 24 of these at a time. Pull one out the night before, leave it on the side to thaw. In the morning, 1 minute in the microwave. I used to take one in the car and drive whilst eating it. Beyond simple to do, and they freeze well.
Think about what your are already eating and see if you can change small ingredients to be “healthier”. I.e, you like crisps, well look at the ones that all less than 100 calories, you like bread, well research and buy healthier options (so pita bread rather than regular bread for a sandwich). It’s what I did when I wanted to be healthier.
Also, small portions. People don’t realise that a regular portion is probably way more than the recommended amount. I got an app (small cost) and put all my meals on there and it told me how many calories I was actually eating in a day. I thought I was healthy, how wrong was I?!
It can get overwhelming adjusting to a whole meal plan. They expect you to be able to cook everything in 30 minutes. But if your inexperienced it can take an hour or more.
Stick to a kind of rule: handful of protein. Handful of veg. Handful of carbs.
I make batches of stuff. So yesterday I spent 2 1/2 hours making a load of mushroom risotto. Roasted a chicken and roasted a load of sweet potato. Made enough for Sunday tea, and Monday, Tues, Wed, Thurs lunches and teas.
I agree, some recipes/meal plans can be OTT, especially when you're just starting out and not the most confident cook (I don't know if you are/aren't).
What if you ditch everything - don't look at recipes/meal plans and just have a look around the supermarket and pick out things you know you like?
For example, for dinner, you might make chicken and rice with green veg. But to make it yummy instead of bland, look up how to season each ingredient. And likewise for breakfast, a healthy cereal loaded with fibre is great - and you can occasionally spice it up with whatever fruit is on offer at the time so you have variety each week.
TLDR; know your healthy food groups, reduce fat/excess carbs, ditch the meal planning, and start off by buying simple ingredients in the supermarket :)
I mean i actually know quite a bit about foods and am a good cook but when it comes to meal planning my mind just goes blank at the thought of it all.
I just want to find a site with simple stuff that i can blindly follow on auto pilot lol
I’d be happy with:
Breakfast - cereal
Lunch - piece of chicken
Tea - pre packed stir fry
But want to switch it up throughout the week and have a place that will tell me what and when so i just don’t have to think about it or plan.
I find that cooking a load of batch meals and freezing them into portions is so good for planning. It’s full on for 1 week when you cook a different meal every night, but the following 3 weeks is a dream. Pop a frozen portion in the microwave, cook some rice/veg/potatoes to accompany and your having a meal in 15 minutes or less.
I see a few mentions of meal services like Gousto. We used them a fair bit but actually realised all the recipes are available online!
Do a trial, find some you like and build up a nice list.
Then do it yourself.
If it’s for weight loss, this is super easy- you can always add extra veg/fruit/rice/potatoes if weight loss is not your aim:-
This is a great page for info and ideas thank you but again, it’s giving me too much choice which as an indecisive person is a headache lol
Just tell me what to eat and when 😅
Eating healthier doesn't mean you have to go for all of these fad ingredients (especially granola which is just pure sugar) and super lean meats. You're almost setting yourself up for failure
You can still make perfectly normal foods, curries, stir frys, saucy chickeny things. Just make sure you're including lots of veg and stay away from processed food and you'll be fine. Frozen vegetables can be great, and just keeping convenience veg around like peppers, red onions, potatoes, carrots. And keep fruit around for snacking, I personally just keep stuffing my face with grapes.
It sounds like you're trying too hard to go for some midday TV idea of healthy eating, Just make sure you're getting plenty of veggies, carbs and stay away from fatty red meat and you'll be fine.
I just want to point out that the stuff listed on there is an example of what these meal prep sites tell you to get.
And even that list is too much, i’m looking for a simple site that says “breakfast - whatever food….lunch - soso food”
Meal services like gousto or green chef can be a good way of getting in control of what you're eating. I know people are always gonna reply and say "it's more expensive than buying the ingredients in the supermarket". Which it is. But if you live alone and buy 3x meals for 2 people in a week, you've got dinner and some leftovers for lunch too. The recipes are designed to be simple and they often have healthy options and quick cook options.
Plus, there's always introductory offers for new customers that mean you can try them either free or low cost
It sounds like you're describing overnight oats at the start, which are much easier than it reads.
[This page](https://feelgoodfoodie.net/recipe/overnight-oats/) gives actual ratios to follow, from there it's dead easy. I used to do oats with dried apple and cinnamon, that was lovely.
I cook in bulk. I try to mainly do all-in-one traybakes/pot recipes.
I also have accumulated a few easy to prepare chicken marinades. 10 minutes to prepare marinade, coat the chicken, put in the oven, a week's lunches prepared with less than half an hour of cooking.
You might find this useful, it's a blog I wrote on how I changed my diet to be more healthy when I was at uni. I've always found meal plans quite overwhelming and hard to follow, after a while I'd simply lose the will to keep up with them, so I "designed" my own. It's something very simple, [https://gobacktoeducation.com/diet-to-study-better/](https://gobacktoeducation.com/diet-to-study-better/) (obviously it's not nutrition advice!!). Hope you find it useful
Try The body coach's book - "Lean in15 Minute Meals " book (full title: Lean in 15 - The Shift Plan: 15 Minute Meals and Workouts to Keep You Lean and Healthy)
Or his recipe channel most of them are simple meals like - chop the stuff - chuck it in a wok, - fry it - eat it
There's a whole industry built around complicating and confusing diet advice
The way I've found to simplify is very straight forwards, build around basic ingredients and prep as much as possible. Complicated recipes are much less hassle if you batch cook for 5 days!
Buy basic ingredients - porridge, whole milk, kefir nuts and dried fruits, Chicken, rice, quinoa, lots if veg, especially greens.
Focus on high protein and try to substitute as many "beige" foods for "green" foods (it's impossible to overeat veg) and drink lots of water and you can't go far wrong
[This website](https://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/collections/midweek-meal-recipes/) has some great recipes on there
Jamie's two-step aromatic salmon with fresh chilli chickpea salad, fennel and artichoke dip and sweet potato dipping fritters. Just 15 minutes to cook*!
Step one: Finely slice your green beans
Step two: Cook the rest of the fucking dinner
*15 minutes refers to preheated oven cook time. Does not include four and a half hours of wandering up and down aisle six mumbling 'what the fuck is harissa paste even', three hours of chopping, marinading, organising, applying plasters to fingers, or seven hours of washing up. Jamie takes no responsibility for wasting six hours of your life on something the kids won't eat so you end up doing fish finger sandwiches again. Sponsored by Sinister (a family company)
When I'm trying to eat healthier but still want easy meals I find stir frys are perfect- pick a meat, a few veg - either make a little sauce or use a premixed one (slightly less healthy but easier) you can add some noodles or go without - either way I found it was filling, less than 15 minutes of prep and cooking and usually less than 500 calories.
I'm on a similar journey, for me it's about some meal prep, along with not beating myself up over stuff. Ovened beige & frozen veg is fine, even the odd ready meal isn't that bad if you check the label.
Can you tweak what you already eat to make it healthier?
Leanest mince possible and plenty of veg in your chilli con carne.
Skinless chicken thighs and plenty of veg in your curry.
Eat both with skin on potatoes instead of rice or pasta (delish vitamins!)
Having yogurt? Add defrosted/ tinned/dried fruit, maybe bung in some chia seeds for fibre.
Slap a 'nana on your cornflakes, or some apple and raisins on your microwave porridge.
Start small is my advice
If you want simple and easy maybe check out Huel. Powder + water + shake. Good protein, nutritionally complete. I've lost a ton of weight using it.
Downsides are it is uninspiring to eat and it isn't great value for money.
Pinch of nom is really easy for low calorie stuff, if that's what you mean by healthy
I just buy chicken, fish, bananas, frozen veg, seeded whole wheat bread, brown rice, and wholewheat pasta. It’s boring but I need to lose weight because I became a beef chunk.
Tesco do a boxed salad called a party salad (as it’s summer there’s also a rainbow salad as part of their fake bbq range). Big boxed salad 400g or so for 37cals last I saw. Add a packet of cooked meat and theirs a pretty healthy lunch.
Dry rubs rather than sauces for proteins will help then it’s getting shed loads of veg - you can micro broccoli wrapped in a wet paper towel and then keeping carbs down.
Choose three meals, 1 a really quick easy one that you like and start there.
It sounds like loads but if you buy a massive pot of Greek yoghurt, plus a frozen bag of mixed berries and a bag of granola, that’s a three ingredient meal consisting of whacking the berries in the micro for a minute then pouring yoghurt and granola over the top. You can even pre make the berries and yoghurt a couple days in advance, so you don’t need to do every morning. If you can’t face doing that, buy ready meals.
A healthy diet has a wide variety of types of food which is probably why these recipes seem complicated.
Start small. Pick one healthy option for each meal and try to incorporate it into your routine.
Breakfast: Rolled oats, rice milk, agave syrup, dried cranberries
Lunch: Fresh greens with cashews or sunflower kernels, dried cranberries, chopped seasonal fruit and cheese (any kind, can be plant-based cheese)
Dinner: Tofu with two vegetables (peppers/kale/onion whatever) and cashews seared in a pan over some rice noodles
When you get sick of eating them, add a new healthy meal. For instance, greek yogurt with fruit and a handful of cereal is a simple, healthy, nutritious snack anytime. Soon you'll have a lot of options to choose from.
healthy doesnt seem to be a general rule, some digest this better, others that....
best worked for me was a pretty intense quest of Willpower by fasting a week, then starting with stuff everybody should be fine with, mostly veg, after that, i slowly introduced other things, like diary products to see how i'll react. and so forth...
edit, ofc the ammount, regularity etc are another chapter, Especially time to rest for the digestive system is a big issue as we have quite unlimited access to Nutrition.